Tell Congress: Pass comprehensive legislation to reduce gun violence


In the wake of another horrific mass shooting, we need to urge Congress to pass comprehensive legislation to reduce gun violence. It is critical that we keep up the pressure on both the Senate and the House to act to address this public health epidemic without further delay.

Gun violence is one of the leading causes of preventable death in our country, resulting in more than 33,000 deaths each year, and we must take a comprehensive public health approach to addressing this ongoing crisis. For too long we as a nation have failed to take on this devastating problem in our communities and we cannot afford to wait any longer.

The National Rifle Association’s top legislative priority has been to roll back the regulations on what they call noise suppressors. The gun lobby claims the restrictions are costly and unnecessary since silencers are rarely used to commit crimes.

The GOP-sponsored bill, the Sportsmen Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act (SHARE Act), would remove gun silencers from the list of items regulated by the 1934 National Firearms Act. Under current law, silencers , which reduce the noise emitted from firearms, are regulated as strictly as machine guns and short-barreled rifles. This bill needs to be stopped.

In addition to stopping the SHARE Act, there are a number of bills that need our support.

Senator Chris Murphy (D - Conn.) has also introduced legislation to strengthen background checks on gun purchases called the Background Check Expansion Act.

Sens. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., are introducing legislation that would prevent those convicted of domestic violence in the military from buying a gun.

Senator Van Hollen (D - MD) and Cardin (D - MD) have introduced legislation to ban assault weapons and in the House, Reps. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) introduced a bill to do the same.

And Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California and more than two dozen other Democrats have unveiled a bill to prohibit the sale of bump-stock devices.

Bump stocks — also known as “slide fire” devices, which work by rapidly “bumping” the trigger of a semi-automatic weapon to boost the rate of fire — were used by Stephen Paddock to kill 59 people and wound more than 500 in the Las Vegas massacre.

Tell your senators and representative to oppose the SHARE Act, support Murphy's background check bill, support Feinstein's Bump Stock bill, support the Flake/Heinrich legislation, support the bills banning assault weapons, and in general back common-sense measures to reduce gun violence in the United States including, but not limited to:

- Requiring and strengthening criminal background checks for all firearm purchases, including all firearms sold at gun shows and on the Internet

- Reinstating the federal ban on automatic and semi-automatic assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines

- Preventing known or suspected terrorists from purchasing a gun

- Requiring all those convicted of domestic abuse to turn in their firearms

- Providing adequate and unrestricted funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other scientific agencies to research the causes of gun violence and develop prevention strategies. This includes increasing the funding for the National Violent Death Reporting System.

- Support legislation that would prohibit 3-D "Ghost Guns," or the publication of a digital file online that allows a 3D printer to manufacture a firearm. Democrats have filed a separate bill to require that all guns have at least one significant component made of metal.